Crow Wing County distributed nearly $5.9 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds to local small businesses, nonprofits, schools and organizations since the county received the federal funds in July.

The coronavirus relief bill is the federal government’s $2.2 trillion package to help businesses, workers and the health care system staggered by the pandemic.

“We did not have a big time frame to get CARES funding into the hands of those that need it. I’m so glad we were able to quickly collaborate, communicate and promote to keep this funding in our local communities,” County Board Chair Steve Barrows said in a news release.

Minnesota local governments and counties received coronavirus relief funding based on population to spend on government and economic assistance to businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19.

“Our board remains very concerned about the economic impact to our communities during the pandemic. Our small businesses and nonprofits provide important jobs and critical services to our residents. I’m so grateful we could provide some relief during this stressful time,” Barrows said.

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The county was given $8 million and the county board-specified goal is to give as much to local businesses and organizations that have struggled since COVID-19.

“BLAEDC is very proud to have played a role assisting the county with the CARES Act grant program that has had a very positive impact at a time of real need,” said Tyler Glynn, executive director of the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp.

The county offered two rounds of grant opportunities for small businesses and nonprofits to apply. Phase one grants were approved Oct. 13. Phase two grants were approved Nov. 3.

The breakdown of county coronavirus relief funds is as follows: $1.49 million for broadband, $2.89 million for small businesses; $790,527 for local nonprofits; and $727,698 for local schools and the Brainerd Family YMCA.

Local cities and townships that did not spend all of their coronavirus aid dollars were required to send any balance back to the county before Nov. 15 to keep funds in the communities.

“I appreciate the collaboration from so many of our partner agencies. Our highest priority was to keep these funds in Crow Wing County,” County Administrator Tim Houle said in the news release.

Local city grants

  • Breezy Point: 5 grants, $50,000

  • Crosslake: 33 grants, $308,500

  • Crow Wing County, 18 grants, $178,000

  • Emily: 5 grants, $44,775

  • Jenkins: 3 grants, $30,000

  • Lake Shore: 1 grant, $10,000

  • Merrifield: 4 grants, $40,000

  • Nisswa: 28 grants, $271,801.14

  • Pequot Lakes: 25 grants, $229,383.95